Lawsuit filed against Champion Pet Food – Acana and Orijen

Consumers in Minnesota, California and Florida are suing Champion Pet Food for “False Advertising”, violations of “feed law”, and numerous other charges. The lawsuit includes results of heavy metal testing and includes results that this dry dog food contains BPA – a chemical typically not associated with dry/kibble pet foods.

This is a Class Action lawsuit – currently representing consumers in Minnesota, California and Florida. The consumers are suing Champion Pet Food “for their negligent, reckless, and/or intentional practice of misrepresenting and failing to fully disclose the presence of heavy metals and toxins in their pet food sold throughout the United States. Plaintiffs seek both injunctive and monetary relief on behalf of the proposed Classes (defined below), including requiring full disclosure of all such substances in its marketing, advertising, and labeling and restoring monies to the members of the proposed Classes.”

The lawsuit claims Champion pet foods (Acana and Orijen) “contain levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium” “known to pose health risks to humans and animals, including dogs” and interestingly for a kibble pet food…the lawsuit claims the dry pet food contained “BISPHENOL A (“BPA”)”.

The lawsuit provided this chart of lab result findings in Acana and Orijen pet foods:

With the heavy metal results provided, the levels found in the Champion Pet Food appear be be below that what authorities recognize as a ‘Maximum Tolerable Level of Minerals in Feed’.

As example: the National Research Council (NRC) publication Mineral Tolerances for Animals 2005 are the guidelines that FDA enforces. Within this publication (which is a pay for publication, not free public access) the NRC provides a chart listing the maximum tolerable level for multiple species. Dogs and cats are not listed within the NRC chart. The closest species provided in the NRC publication is rodents.

For rodents, the maximum tolerable level of arsenic is: 30 mg/kg.

The highest level of arsenic found in the Acana and Orijen dog foods was 3256.40 mcg/kg (microgram per kilogram). Converting micrograms to milligrams, the highest level or arsenic found in Acana and Orijen dog foods was 3.2564 mg. Well below the NRC maximum tolerable level for rodents and we can assume dogs and cats.

That said, much of the NRC consulted science their maximum tolerable levels are established on were based on short term research. There was/is little consideration to cats and dogs that consume pet food with higher levels of heavy metals over a lifetime. The NRC Mineral Tolerances 2005 publication found that dogs fed “2.3 and 4.6 mg per day per kilogram of body weight” for only 183 days experienced “decreased weight gain and food intake”; 183 days is not a fair consideration to base pet health on when exposure could be years.

Lawyers will have to argue out the heavy metal content health risks cited in the lawsuit.

But what about the BPA found in the Champion pet foods…kibble pet foods? Most pet food consumers understand that canned pet foods could contain BPA…but not dry/kibble pet foods.

The lawsuit states “Defendants market the Contaminated Dog Foods as “Biologically Appropriate,” using “Fresh Regional Ingredients” comprised of 100 percent meat, poultry, fish, and/or vegetables, both on the products’ packaging and on Defendants’ websites. Moreover, Defendants devote significant web and packaging space to the marketing of their DogStar® Kitchens, which they tell consumers “are the most advanced pet food kitchens on earth, with standards that rival the human food processing industry.”

Where did the BPA come from if ‘fresh regional ingredients’ are used and processed in ‘the most advanced pet food kitchens on earth’?

How much BPA was found in Champion Pet Foods as compared to canned pet food?

In 2002 a study – Determination of bisphenol A in canned pet foods – found BPA levels in dog foods tested from “11 to 206 ng/g”.

Nanogram per gram (ng/g) results stated in this study is the same as microgram to kilogram (ug/kg) stated in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit cites testing of Orijen and Acana BPA levels from zero to 102.70 ug/kg. Not quite as high as results of canned pet food, but significantly high for what a kibble pet food would be expected to contain.

It will be very interesting to follow this lawsuit, to learn of future updates/arguments from both sides. As more is learned, it will be shared.

To read the full lawsuit, Click Here.

To contact the law firm, Click Here.

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

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11 Responses to “Lawsuit filed against Champion Pet Food – Acana and Orijen”

  1. Deborah Fitzwater says:

    I want to be a part of the class action suit. My border collie now had a sensitive stomach

    • Patrick says:

      Also note that any time you swap dog food you’re going to cause your dog to have a upset stomach if not gradually transferred over. Also, given the much higher meat concentration in the formula it’s going to take some adjusting. Orijen is rated as the number one dog food for a reason, don’t need some idiots stirring up needless issues. If they were fair, they would compare what the other dog foods contain compared to these same tables. As far as I care these people can go swap to Purina. Check out this site for a full list of detail review analysis of dog foods: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/

  2. Randall Miller says:

    Given that information and those levels of toxins, do you feel that it’s safe to continue feeding Orijen kibble?
    Randall

    • Randon Orde says:

      I have fed Orijen Original for over 30 years and have never had any issues. Dogs all live to 15 or 16 years. When they do its for the required rabies shots.I have 6 dogs. Maremma, Australian Shepherd, Greyhound and 2 Chihuahua’s and 1 Pomeranian.I do not think that the FB posting is correct in it’s assertions of adverse health problem based on the dog food.

  3. Jeff says:

    This is so messed up. Something is seriously wrong here. In the table you give the levels of contaminates in micrograms. However, when you convert them to milligrams they are well within the tolerabls limits. Either you deliberately did this to puff up your numbers hoping no ons would know or you do not know what you are doing.

  4. bonnie sawyer says:

    I wanted to read the lawsuit report on the toxic metal report u had listed here for Orijen, but now the report is absent from your site…why has it been removed from this article dated March 2018 Lawsuit filed against Champion food?

  5. Helen potgieter says:

    I am living in South Africa. My gsd have been in Acana light and fit for 3.5 years. It is the most expensive food in my country. Tonight my 5 year old gsd were diognosed with kidney failure. He does not show the normal kidney failure signs. The blood tests showed it up. I took him to the vet as he became lethargic and his nosed turned dry. Please help us and other dogs on this diet.

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